Kigali, 28 July 2011

President Kagame today received the outgoing UNICEF country representative, Dr. Joseph Foumbi, who is going into retirement after long service with the United Nations. Dr. Foumbi has stayed in Rwanda for four and a half years.

Speaking to the press after meeting President Kagame, Dr. Foumbi said: “I was so lucky to be here to witness one of the strongest leaderships in Africa. My stay here has made me to believe that it is possible to transform Africa. I have worked in many countries in Africa and there is nowhere I saw the commitment of leadership like it is the case in Rwanda.”

Dr. Foumbi said that during his tenure as UNICEF country representative there were changes made that allowed improved service delivery. “The new Rwandan policy based on the Paris declaration that required donors to align their support to national priorities coincided with the UN reforms that allowed UN agencies to deliver as one and made the UN more relevant, effective and coherent. By doing so, the UN was able to do far more for children using resources from other agencies”.

“If I can give a few examples, in the area of education we were able to influence the policy of government in education to propose a new education model known as “Child Friendly School” which has been globally adopted and recognized as the best model.” Other successes pointed out by the outgoing UNICEF representative include the 9-Year Basic Education reforms, the rapid SMS which has saved the lives of mothers while giving birth and funding strategies to eliminate chronic malnutrition.”

The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Aloysia Inyumba said: “The President commended Dr. Foumbi for tremendous changes he brought about in the delivery of UNICEF. During his tenure UNICEF was able to diversify delivery and was able to effectively address many problems affecting Rwandans, focusing on education and family health.”